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Our View-Super seniors get sand kicked in faces

We here at the Daily 49er, much like our beloved university, realize the power of the economy. It fuels our cars, warms our houses, feeds our younger siblings and keeps our mothers in pretty little dresses.

Oftentimes, however, the economy isn’t so nice and, like any other abstract human concept, can screw us over. Wait, we think that’s right.

Anyway, with this realization, what’s a university like Cal State Long Beach to do when the national and state economies begin to show malevolence? It’s simple and, not to mention quite admirable, to screw us, the students, over and chalk another one up to the invisible hand. We are, of course, referring to the hand that guides our economy.

You might not be keeping score, but we are. Let’s just say the invisible hand is giving us the invisible finger. It’s raised our tuition, cut our instruction time, closed our campus and now it’s telling us how long we can stay in college.

Those who regularly read the Daily 49er might have noticed last Thursday’s lead story, “CSULB to super seniors: Move on.”

For the rest of you, though, the article covered CSULB’s new unit cap policy, which forces students with more than 140 units to graduate by summer 2010. “Move on,” really means, “Get your effing asses out.”

First off, we would like to denounce the article’s headline because it mistakenly places blame on our poor little university rather than the malevolent economy. We’ve explained how powerful said economy is. The headline should have read, “ECONOMY to super seniors: Move on.”

CSULB, like any institute of higher learning, stresses the value of more education. Hence, placing blame on the university for this unit-cap policy would be like calling its administrators hypocrites.

Too frequently, we’ve heard CSULB President F. King Alexander tell students to stay in college, to pick up a second major and that it’s not a safe time to enter the “real world.”

Many super seniors, approximately 1,400 students, heeded that advice. We believed our president. We took on extra majors and minors — many took extra student loans — only to be told the university now wants to give us the bum’s rush.

It’s wonderful that our university wants to make room for newer students, but to blame the lack of space on super seniors is pretty weenie. Super seniors weren’t the cause of enrollment cuts, a hemorrhaging budget, overcrowded classrooms or fewer course offerings.

They also are victims. Probably more so now that they have to abruptly terminate their education. The e-mails sent to super seniors read like somebody is going to come break their legs if they don’t hit the bricks in a hurry.

This type of insult has no place in our institution. Seriously, the headline could have read, “HYPOCRITES to super seniors: Move on.”

We sympathize with our university. We understand that a vicious economy might sometimes lead to quick and irrational decisions; decisions that are sometimes even contradictory to the very ideals a public university represents.

Some of you might not understand this connection. When the economy decides to screw us over, there really is nothing our university can do, aside from screwing its communities over. We get to be screwed several times on the way to the podium.

Believe us when we say that our university has exhausted all its options. Whether it was raising student fees, closing the campus, or mandating furloughs — CSULB really had no other choice. When the economy is in play no one has choices. It’s really the Chuck Norris of scapegoats.

So, when some of us are forced to graduate because of unit caps, work an extra job because of high tuition or walk aimlessly around campus because everything is closed, we must not blame the university. It is the economy that must be blamed.

Sure we students have bared the burdens of our university’s policies but, truly, it is our university that has bared the biggest of burdens. Screwing us over is no easy decision.
 

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